English HW help?

    Has anybody studied Audens poem '1st september 1939'
    I need a fact about verse seven
    Or what it means or what it links to lol..


    Original Poster


    post it on here

    From the conservative dark
    Into the ethical life
    The dense commuters come,
    Repeating their morning vow;
    "I will be true to the wife,
    I'll concentrate more on my work,"
    And helpless governors wake
    To resume their compulsory game:
    Who can release them now,
    Who can reach the deaf,
    Who can speak for the dumb?

    in context:

    I sit in one of the dives
    On Fifty-second Street
    Uncertain and afraid
    As the clever hopes expire
    Of a low dishonest decade:
    Waves of anger and fear
    Circulate over the bright
    And darkened lands of the earth,
    Obsessing our private lives;
    The unmentionable odour of death
    Offends the September night.

    Accurate scholarship can
    Unearth the whole offence
    From Luther until now
    That has driven a culture mad,
    Find what occurred at Linz,
    What huge imago made
    A psychopathic god:
    I and the public know
    What all schoolchildren learn,
    Those to whom evil is done
    Do evil in return.

    Exiled Thucydides knew
    All that a speech can say
    About Democracy,
    And what dictators do,
    The elderly rubbish they talk
    To an apathetic grave;
    Analysed all in his book,
    The enlightenment driven away,
    The habit-forming pain,
    Mismanagement and grief:
    We must suffer them all again.

    Into this neutral air
    Where blind skyscrapers use
    Their full height to proclaim
    The strength of Collective Man,
    Each language pours its vain
    Competitive excuse:
    But who can live for long
    In an euphoric dream;
    Out of the mirror they stare,
    Imperialism's face
    And the international wrong.

    Faces along the bar
    Cling to their average day:
    The lights must never go out,
    The music must always play,
    All the conventions conspire
    To make this fort assume
    The furniture of home;
    Lest we should see where we are,
    Lost in a haunted wood,
    Children afraid of the night
    Who have never been happy or good.

    The windiest militant trash
    Important Persons shout
    Is not so crude as our wish:
    What mad Nijinsky wrote
    About Diaghilev
    Is true of the normal heart;
    For the error bred in the bone
    Of each woman and each man
    Craves what it cannot have,
    Not universal love
    But to be loved alone.

    From the conservative dark
    Into the ethical life
    The dense commuters come,
    Repeating their morning vow;
    "I will be true to the wife,
    I'll concentrate more on my work,"
    And helpless governors wake
    To resume their compulsory game:
    Who can release them now,
    Who can reach the deaf,
    Who can speak for the dumb?

    All I have is a voice
    To undo the folded lie,
    The romantic lie in the brain
    Of the sensual man-in-the-street
    And the lie of Authority
    Whose buildings grope the sky:
    There is no such thing as the State
    And no one exists alone;
    Hunger allows no choice
    To the citizen or the police;
    We must love one another or die.

    Defenceless under the night
    Our world in stupor lies;
    Yet, dotted everywhere,
    Ironic points of light
    Flash out wherever the Just
    Exchange their messages:
    May I, composed like them
    Of Eros and of dust,
    Beleaguered by the same
    Negation and despair,
    Show an affirming flame.

    Original Poster

    I dont have a clue what to put for it lol!

    the conservative dark, uses a (what u call it when something is opposite) to describe consevatism ina negative manner and howone is not ethical but has to enter this life from what they presume is them being conservative. he explains what he eans by 'dark' cos he describes those we percieve as 'conservative' as dense and helpless.

    in the dark they are helpless and it not possible to avail them from their lives as they have become so enthralled in living this facade that they are like the deaf and dumb and one cannot approacjh them. what they perceive as conservative and ethical, is not.

    sorry i know its cruddy but im really rushed and gotta help my son with his reading! i might have a proper read tonight again if i get te chance, good luck.

    Google, and hence Wikipedia, says:…939

    The poem deliberately echoes the stanza form of W. B. Yeats's "Easter, 1916", another poem about an important historical event, and, like Yeats' poem, Auden's moves from a description of historical failures and frustrations to a possible transformation in the present or future.

    Until the two final stanzas, the poem briefly describes the social and personal pathology that has brought about the outbreak of war: first the historical development of Germany "from Luther until now", next the internal conflicts in every individual person that correspond to the external conflicts of the war. Much of the language and content of the poem echoes that of C. G. Jung in his book Psychology and Religion (1938).

    The final two stanzas shift radically in tone and content, turning to the truth that the poet can tell, "We must love one another or die," and to the presence in the world of "the Just" who exchange messages of hope. The poem ends with the hope that the poet, like "the Just", can "show an affirming flame" in the midst of the disaster.

    [edit] History of the text
    Auden wrote the poem in the first days of World War II, while visiting the father of his lover Chester Kallman in New Jersey (information provided by Kallman to friends). In a fanciful biography written much later, Dorothy Farnan -- who met Auden three years after the poem was written -- wrote that the poem was written in the Dizzy Club, a jazz bar on 52nd Street in New York, but this story is entirely imaginary.

    Even before printing the poem for the first time, Auden deleted two stanzas from the latter section, one of them proclaiming his faith in an inevitable "education of man" away from war and division. The two stanzas are printed in Edward Mendelson's Early Auden (1981).

    Soon after writing the poem, Auden began to turn away from it, apparently because he found it self-flattering to himself and to his readers. When he reprinted the poem in The Collected Poetry of W. H. Auden (1945) he omitted the famous stanza that ends "We must love one another or die." In 1957, he wrote to the critic Laurence Lerner, "Between you and me, I loathe that poem" (quoted in Edward Mendelson, Later Auden, p. 478). He resolved to omit it from his further collections (it did not appear in his 1966 Collected Shorter Poems 1927-1957).

    In the mid-1950s Auden began to refuse permission to editors who asked to reprint the poem in anthologies. In 1955 he allowed Oscar Williams to include it complete in The New Pocket Anthology of American Verse with the most famous line altered to read "We must love one another and die." Later he allowed the poem to be reprinted only once, in a Penguin Books anthology Poetry of the Thirties (1964), with a note saying about this and four other early poems, "Mr. W. H. Auden considers these five poems to be trash which he is ashamed to have written."

    [edit] Reception
    Despite Auden's disapproval, the poem became famous and widely popular. E. M. Forster wrote "Because he once wrote 'We must love one another or die' he can command me to follow him" (Two Cheers for Democracy, 1951).

    A close echo of the line "We must love one another or die", spoken by Barry Goldwater in a recording of one of his speeches, was used in the famous Johnson campaign commercial "Daisy" during the 1964 campaign. In the ad, the image of a young girl picks petals from a daisy, then is replaced by the image of a nuclear detonation, which serves as an apocalyptic backdrop to the audio of Goldwater's speech. Goldwater's version of the line, inserted into a speech by an unidentified speechwriter, was "We must love each other, or we must die."

    In 2001, immediately after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the poem was read (with many lines omitted) on National Public Radio and was widely circulated and discussed for its relevance to recent events.


    oh thats the bakground! ok that makes more sense..

    Original Poster

    ill keep trying

    So - did you get your answer sorted from the above?
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